19 November 2015
BY Neena Gurung
Washington DC- The Saudi government’s General Presidency for Youth Welfare (GPYW) issued an official order banning girls of all ages from entering stadium and gyms, local media reported.
The Presidency warned all managers of sports venues, to strictly implement the resolution, and stressed on the importance of zero tolerance.
Banning girls and women from watching athletic events is a part of the systemic discrimination against them in the kingdom. “No women allowed” mindset of the Saudi authorities is continuously enhanced by their discriminatory practices, such as this decision by the General Presidency for Youth Welfare, which reports to the king and runs as a youth and sports ministry.
The news of the official restrictions did not seem to bother the International Olympics Committee (IOC) or other sporting federations who continue to allow the GPYW unrestricted membership. Although it is important development, wire services like Reuters and AP did not report one the issue.
IOC continues to support discriminate against girls and women in sports and physical education in Saudi Arabia. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has signed international human rights laws and documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, inequality of women is still prevalent under their rule. The UDHR bans discrimination against women, but Saudi females are officially banned from the basic human right of physical education and activity.
Girls and women deserve every chance to play, watch, and partake in sporting events, regardless of where they belong. It is unacceptable to banning them from enjoying sports and violation of their basic human rights.
The No.WomenNo.Play was launched in 2009 to lift the Saudi ban on girls and women physical education and sports at all levels.